The anaconda's kingdom is animalia. Its phylum is chordata. Its class is reptila. Its order is squamata. Its family is boidae. Water boa is another name for the anaconda.
The yellow anaconda is a yellow snake with a complex pattern. The scales on its body are smooth. Yellow anacondas are as thick as a telephone pole and often grow to be 16 feet long. They are the biggest snakes in the world. They are even bigger than the Old World python. There have been reports of 130 and 140 feet anacondas, but they have not been proven. The longest recorded anaconda was 33 feet long. It is one of the heaviest of snakes. A 20 foot anaconda weighs more than a 33 foot python. Like the crocodiles, the anaconda's nostrils are on top of its head. A 30 foot adult has a striking range of 15-25 feet.
Anacondas live in South America, east of the Andes, mainly in the Amazon and Orinoco River basins, and in the Guianas. Their habitat is marshes, brushes, and swamps. They are never found far away from water. The swamps are their favorite spots. When kept out of the water, an anaconda's body becomes infested with ticks.
The anaconda gives birth to live young. The gestation period is 6 months. A female can have up to 20-40 babies and sometimes as many as 100. The young are usually 2 feet long. A couple hours after they are born, the young can swim, hunt and care for themselves. After mating, the anaconda grows longer but slower.
Snakes have a special jaw attachment that lets them swallow large animals whole. An anaconda's diet in the wild is: deer, wild pigs, birds, ocelot, other snakes, tapirs, sheep, dogs and large rodents like agouti, paca, and capybara . Its diet in the zoo is thawed rats once or twice a month. Anacondas act fast to catch their prey. When the anaconda strikes it will squeeze its prey to death, but it prefers to drown its victim. Although the anaconda is slow on land, it is quick and deadly in the water. The anaconda has been known to attack jaguars, and a 26 foot anaconda was reported to have killed a 6-and-a-half-foot caiman. A huge anaconda is capable of surviving for months and even years without food. One captive snake fasted for two years.
In the Brandywine Zoo the anaconda loves to lie on a branch and take a sunbath.